2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Time, Energy, and the "Academic" Agenda
Ashley E. Long
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The lack of motivation among wealthy, middle-class, and impoverished students to appreciate intellectual pursuit is a common thread in three essays, Henry Adams’ “Harvard College (1854-1858),” Mark Edmundson’s “On the Uses of a Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students,” and Earl Shorris’ “On the Uses of a Liberal Education: As A Weapon in the Hands of the Restless Poor,” respectively. In drawing a viable connection between the three very different realities presented in these essays, this paper will examine the relationship between the students’ attitudes to college and their specific socioeconomic contexts. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that students of greater economic and political security face fewer pressures besides social ones, and that the nature of their schooling can lead to intellectual inactivity and complacency.

Keywords: Education, Motivation, Harvard, Henry Adams, wealthy, impoverished, middle-class, college

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 10-4
Location: VH 1232
Time: 9:00 am

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